The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
11/27/18 12:45 p.m.

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Back in the day, getting out on track took some serious commitment. You had to build a race car, go through driver school, and then earn your competition license. Today it’s a bit simpler thanks to the proliferation of non-competitive track events: You go, run laps, have fun, and then head home.

Novices Welcome: Most groups offer some kind of novice instruction that usually includes both classroom and in-car teaching as well as dedicated run groups for those first-timers. The groups will pair you with an instructor, so don’t worry about having to bring your own. Some programs, like the SCCA’s Track Night in America and NASA’s HPDE 1 run group, specifically cater to newbies.

Run Groups: You’re going to be out there with others, but fields are almost always separated according to driver experience. Expect to find groups for novice, intermediate and experienced. Unsure of where you fit in? Just ask. If in doubt, err on the side of caution.

Passing: Yes, there will usually be passing. Some groups require a point-by Others have open passing. Each club, as well as each run group, will have its own passing rules. Generally speaking, novices will require a point-by while experts can usually pass at will.

Specific Feel: Each club will have its own vibe, too. Some tend to attract experienced drivers with the latest hardware, meaning grids full of GT3 Porsches and track-prepped Vipers. Less intense and small-bore drivers might head to another organization. Unsure which group is for you? Visit events and check them out. Once you see the cars on grid, you’ll get what we’re talking about.

Finding a Group: Today’s track day enthusiast is served by a variety of groups. Some run events across the country while others stick to just one or two tracks. Who runs where? Check this story’s source box for more info.

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akylekoz Dork
11/27/18 2:22 p.m.

Having done quite a few HPDEs I feel that theSCCA's  TNiA is a very well run event and the best around for newbies.   

Getting gas on the way to the track I was greeted with a Z06, Viper on a trailer newer M car and other very capable rides.  At check is I asked if I was in the correct group based on the serious iron in the lot.  They very confidently asked if I chose my group based on the descriptions, and if I was comfortable passing and getting passed, I was.  I was told that after the first session it didn't feel right I could switch.  Turns out all the fast cars were in the beginner group, and I spent the whole day chasing and be chased by an M3 e36 and having a great day.


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